From super scooters to smarter meters: six companies to keep an eye on in 2023 | technology sector

T he upheavals of the past few years have posed major challenges for established companies; for others, rapid change can mean great opportunities. Entrepreneurs are breaking new ground in important new areas, from artificial intelligence to biotechnology to super-intelligent energy meters. Here we look at six companies that make the most of the moment.

Green energy options

Keep an eye on Cambridge-based energy specialist Green Energy options this year. The company known as Geo was founded in 2006 as a traditional smart meter company and has grown slowly, shipping more than 8.5 million devices to date. The energy crisis could lead to a further boost in business as households scrutinize their consumption more closely to save money.

Geo's energy management system detects when a house is empty and turns down the heating. It can also automate the operation of appliances so they are used when electricity is cheapest, saving an estimated 10 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh) or more. This can reduce the demand for fossil power generation, which is still relied on at peak times. Geo's technology charges electric vehicles off-peak to save on driving costs, and the company estimates it has saved customers a total of £800 million and 20 terawatt hours of energy.

Initially available as part of the smart meter rollout to utilities, the devices could later be retrofitted to any household that has a smart meter.

The privately owned company reported a widening of losses and a drop in sales last fiscal year as the pandemic restricted access to homes. But this year, sales are expected to rebound and more than double to about 25 million pounds. Alex Lawson

Autolus Therapeutics

In the British biotech sector, Autolus could be on the rise. Spun off from University College London in 2014, The company develops programmed T-cell therapies: Also known as living drugs, they reconstitute patients' immune systems to detect and fight cancer.

Four years ago, Autolus went public on Nasdaq, raising $160 million, and has just raised another $150 million (£125 million) from investors, including U.K. life science investment firm Syncona. Its backers include Blackstone Life Sciences, which has invested up to $250 million in one of the largest private financings of a U.K. biotech company.

Autolus also works with major drug companies Bristol Myers Squibb and Moderna. This month, it released what analysts at Numis called "impressive" results from interim clinical trials for the treatment of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a serious form of blood cancer that is fatal without treatment. Autolus intends to submit the treatment – the most advanced – for regulatory approval in the U.S. in 2023.

Convinced of its success, the company is already preparing to start production: It has commissioned a cell manufacturing facility that will produce at least 2.Can produce 000 patient products. Julia Kollewe

Front view of a futuristic-looking red SUV with its doors open


No Chinese car brand has ever become a household name abroad, in part because the country has never managed to make a name for itself in high-end gasoline or diesel cars.

The shift to electric – with designs that start from a blank sheet of paper – changes all that. Chinese automakers hope to expand globally with battery models, and BYD, headquartered in the industrial hub of Shenzhen, is expected to be among the frontrunners in 2023, with European expansion on the horizon.

BYD is already the world's largest electric car maker, having overtaken Tesla in July, and has been backed by Warren Buffett, the world's most famous investor, since 2008 (a bet that has made his company Berkshire Hathaway billions of dollars). . Now launching three new models in Europe to compete with major Western brands.

BYD is also already the third largest carmaker by market value. If it can crack Europe, it could be coming for Tesla's crown. Jasper Jolly

Stability AI

Founded in 2020 by former hedge fund analyst Emad Mostaque, Stability AI develops artificial intelligence software that allows other companies to use it for free, though customers can pay if they want extra bells and whistles. It describes itself as a "community" with projects on music production or applying machine learning to problems in biology and pharmaceuticals, but its main product is an automated image generator.

Stable Diffusion can convert ordinary English sentences into high-quality images in seconds. The technology has been used by newsletter writers to create illustrations for their emails, by artists to create backgrounds or details for their work, and by game developers to create a new kind of multiplayer experience. Developed with 500.£000 of Mostaque's own money and then given away to developers under an open-source model, it has reached a wider audience than some rivals.

The company, headquartered in London's Notting Hill neighborhood, has received $101 million in external funding, valuing it at more than $1 billion, and released a second version of Stable Diffusion that produces better images while working harder to avoid copyright infringement and obscene images. The long term plan is to continue to offer the basic trained model for free while making a profit from a hosted version of the API that companies can use if they don't want the technical overhead of running and optimizing an AI model themselves. Alex Hern

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